Journalist M.L. Elrick vows to battle for transparency in Detroit City Council race
Detroit-based journalist ML Elrick created a platform for opportunity, safety and accountability on Monday when he launched a campaign for a seat on the East Side city council.
Elrick stood by his side with his family at the entrance to the former paint shop on East Warren Avenue where he worked as a teenager, telling a small crowd that Detroiters need elected officials who “put civil service above self-service.” “
“I started my career as a reporter 30 years ago and spent much of that time scrutinizing the government, exposing waste, incompetence and corruption. I have also told the stories of outsiders, people who have been mistreated, abused and abused their rights are denied, “said Elrick, a former reporter for the Detroit Free Press. “It is no longer enough for me to just be the goalkeeper, it is time for me to get into the game.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning Soul of Detroit podcast host, known for investigative reports involving elected officials, filed petition signatures Monday morning to review for the August primaries.
Elrick examined Spivey’s collection of nominee signatures for voting in the city’s final election cycle in a 2018 televised investigation. The report focused on allegations that Spivey and its campaign misrepresented who distributed ballots. In the report, Elrick stated that it is illegal for circulators to say they saw a petition being signed when they did not. Spivey said in a written response from an attorney to Elrick that campaign workers had received clear instructions to follow the rules for obtaining signatures on petitions. The letter added that a deadline for filing a complaint about the petition’s signatures had expired.
Elrick is among a high-profile field of potential candidates for the seat. The East English Village resident made his offer a week after his competitor Toson Knight, a youth mentor and dean of students in the city’s public school district, announced his intentions with Eden followers Gardens shared. Retired Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Virgil Smith also said he plans to bid for the seat. Spivey Chief of Staff Keith Jones has also petitioned for the District 4 seat.
Elrick’s announcement on Monday included support from community leaders, former coworkers, longtime family friends, and a union representative who spoke about Elricks Efforts at the negotiating table for a newspaper contract, fundraising campaigns for community groups and serving as a youth mentor.
Maureen Dritsan, a longtime East English Village resident and member of the neighborhood association, said she worked with Elrick for years on issues affecting the community.
Dritsan said she believed Elrick “will bring transparency to the Council that I believe has been lacking for years”.
“I was pretty happy with the way the city has moved and the progress that has been made,” she said. “However, I have a feeling that in recent years the city council has stamped some of the mayor’s proposals and plans for the city. I think the residents deserve more.”
Elrick has been based in Detroit since 1999. In addition to his work for the Free Press, Elrick worked as an investigative reporter for WDIV-TV Channel 4 and WJBK-TV Fox 2.
Spivey has announced that it will seek one of two seats in the nine-member council. The city council called in petitions to collect signatures for a seat at large.
As of last Monday, Knight was the only candidate certified so far, according to polling station records.